For those of you who don’t know, the Asteroid Belt is an area of the Solar System included between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, within which range an estimated million and a half planetoids and asteroids, plus change in terms of detrita too small to see. Our fearless Восход-Д is forced to cross it, once beyond Mars, to cross the orbit of Jupiter and reach its final destination, Saturn. Literature and movies have made this area, in our collective imagination, a very crowded space, like the one pictured here where Ian Solo’s Millennium Falcon is darting in The Empire Strikes Back.
Obviously things in real life look hardly like this. The two millions or so asteroids roaming the Belt share an area of some billion cubic kilometers: to cross it in a straight line from the orbit of Mars to that of Jupiter, you on your Ferrari at 300 kph would need over seventy years, assuming you don’t break for anything. Thus, the real aspect of the Asteroid Belt is the one shown in picture number two, instead.
The sole picture of this area in the Solar System which has any relation to the boring reality is, again, the one Kubrick provides in 2001: A Space Odissey, in the scene where Discovery is faraway on the background, and two stones tumble by on the fore.
For the Восход-Д travel I chose to compromise. Here’s how it looks, in picture number three. For Blender geeks, the background is a picture designed in the GIMP, while the sparkling dust was created with two particle emitters. For the record, the denser one, with the ‘asteroids’ small in the distance, is the closer to the camera.
Maybe it’s not Kubrick, but it isn’t Lucas, either.